Seklusyon: A Test of Faith

Since the list of Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 entries was released, I’ve already anticipated watching them all. MMFF 2016 was indeed a turning point of Philippine movies, and although there are several opinions and points of discussion for this, I still believe that it’s a good move to encourage people, especially the Filipinos, to watch films in a different wave.

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One of the most applauded entries was Seklusyon, a film directed by Erik Matti, which, after the MMFF 2016 Gabi ng Parangal, was even more talked about because of the number of awards they got, namely, Best Director – Erik Matti, Special Jury Prize – Rhed Bustamante, Best Screenplay, Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Phoebe Walker (oh my god, she’s one hot nun), Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design,Best Theme Song – Dominus Miserere and Best Production Design.

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Once Again

Once again, we’re here

Taking chances, taking risks

With no certainty to hold, not a clue

Not even a single glimpse of tomorrow

And not even an idea;

How do I stop thinking?

How do I know?

Am I doing it right?

Or does it just feel right?

~

Once again, I’m asking questions

Questions that can only be answered if I take a leap of faith;

And once again, it’s faith that’s yet to be tested,

And I don’t know.

I don’t know what to believe.

I don’t know how to believe.

I don’t know when to believe.

All I know is that once again, I’m inside this room,

A colorless room without corners.

~

Where do we go?

Do I have to take your hand, even though you’re unknown?

Do I have to run away and just leave you alone?

Do I have to go to your direction?

Do I have to make my own way?

Once, I was lost

But once again, I am found;

I just don’t want to lose myself once again,

Not anymore.

Oh My G!

I’m Claudine, 22 years old, and no, I am not going to make a TV series review of Oh My G; I am not going to imitate Sophie either, because I have been blogging since high school, long before Oh My G started. I wouldn’t deny, though, that Oh My G inspired me to write this post. I have never felt so much separation anxiety (#SepAnx) for a Filipino TV series before Oh My G. For months that I had been watching this show as my personal lunch date, I felt refreshed, revived and reborn. For me, it wasn’t just a show, it was a daily recollection.

Aside from the fact that I really love the ever-talented, ever-pretty and ever-charming Janella Salvador, every episode made me think of G (GOD). Sophie was blessed enough that she could see and talk to him; but even Sophie who could interact with Him face to face had questions about what’s been happening in her life.

All of us have problems that are bigger and smaller than others’, but life isn’t about how big or small our problems are. Our problems have different intensities and we have our own ways of dealing with them, and I’m sure, for at least one point in our lives, we have asked Him, “G, why me?” “I have done everything, G, but why have you done this to me? I’ve had my faith in You, but why did you forsake me?”

We have always questioned G, telling Him we’ve done everything, but really, have we? Perhaps we have done every human effort we could ever exert but forgot the most important thing – to surrender. To lift it all up to Him. Haven’t we realized? Maybe G is just giving us something to make us stronger and better persons. He wouldn’t give us something we could not handle anyway. He knows whom to give what and where to give when. All we need to have is faith. A doubtless faith. A person close to me once quoted, “Whatever life throws at you, just be strong and fight through it. Remember, strong walls shake but never collapse.” And you know what? The only way to not collapse is to have a deep sense of faith.

I just thought, siguro kaya tayo binibigyan ni G ng mga problema, kaya tine-test ni G ang faith natin, kasi gusto Niya na pansinin natin Siya. Minsan kasi nakakalimutan na natin Siya pag masaya tayo. Sinasabi natin na “Thank you, G!” but they were nothing but words kasi mas nasa isip na natin yung celebration and enjoyment. And admit it, sometimes, or perhaps often, mas nauuna pa ang social media na makaalam ng mga pinagdadaanan natin bago natin Siya kausapin. Baka nagpapapansin lang si G kasi tinatawag lang natin Siya pag may kailangan tayo… Or baka medyo napapalayo na tayo sa kanya kaya gusto Niya na maging close [ulit] tayo sa Kanya. G is always there naman, sa tabi natin, kahit hindi natin Siya nakikita, we can always talk to Him. Kahit ilang beses na natin Siyang dini-disappoint at sinusuway, kahit tayo mismo yung lumalayo sa kanya, Siya pa rin yung humihila sa atin pabalik. He would continue to forgive us and bless us abundantly. Kahit nakakalimot tayo, hindi Niya tayo kinakalimutan. Kahit na sinusumbatan natin Siya, hindi Niya binabalik sa atin. Instead, niyayakap Niya tayo ng mahigpit at Siya mismo yung nagpupunas ng luha natin.

For many times, I had my faith tested. Not just once, not just twice, and I swear no one would’ve ever thought I had been through those things once I tell them. Family, friends, love, career – name it. I’ve had them all. And yes, I’m just 22. I’m 22 and standing strong – stronger than I ever was.

I have failed my family. I have failed myself. I have failed God. I have failed them several times. And here I am, quite sure enough that there would be times that I’m gonna fail them again in the future. I used to be ashamed of those shortcomings, but now I realized, why should I? I am continuously fighting the battle and keeping the faith. I am never gonna quit because my faith told me not to. G told me not to. G never leaves. G always cares. G always makes me feel loved, helping me stand again each time that I am already crawling to death. G always helps me through it all. And I am sure G is doing this to you, too. G is with you, too. G loves you. Always.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Whatever is it that we are going through, all we need to do is to surrender and lift it all up to Him. LET GO AND LET G. 🙂

#GODisNowHere

P.S. Thank you, Oh My G, for the eye-opening experience. Congratulations to the whole team, from the writers to the artists, for coming up with a very wonderful series. I will miss you!

Little Dreamer

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Photo from Googe

I am just a little dreamer
Aiming for the moon,
Nothing but a wishful thinker
Not giving up too soon;

I am in this fight
With a troupe, I’m not alone,
In my faith, I hold on tight
For God is my cornerstone;

I will fall down to my knees
Not just once, not just twice,
But the stars, I will soon kiss
And watch my own sun rise.

Old works @ HISTRIONICDEITYPOETRY.BLOGSPOT.COM

Hopeful Dreamers

Last April 26, Saturday, my friends and I went to visit Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan to ask mercy to grant our petitions for the battle that we’re facing right now.

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Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Manaoag
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Candles representing the Prayers of the Faithful

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After the mass, we lighted candles for our prayers, went up the Our Lady of Manaoag mantle to pray as we touch it, and visited the museum and wrote our petitions and dropped them on the petition box.

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Manaoag visit buddies: (L-R) Xam, Me, Angelou, Roland, Ysabelle
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Room 18 Represent! #dormmates

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I also bought rosary bracelets for him and I and had them blessed after the mass.

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Black for him and white for me. To infinity and beyond.

Big thanks to my Mom and Dad for driving us there.

P.S. Beware of those people who are going to “use your faith” just for them to earn money.

* All photos taken and post-processed by yours truly.